Present for the ceremony were (l. to r.): Piper Mike Olsen, Adm. Carolyn Orlebeke, Belton Mayor Marion Grayson, Adm. Wayne Courreges, Jr., Adm. Malcom Johnson, Adm. Kathy Howell, Adm. Karen R. Thompson, Adm. Mitch Fuller, Adm. John Williams, Adm. Janie Babcock, Adm. Terry Curb, and Adm. Jerry Patterson.
Texian Navy Midshipman Samuel Wade Wybrants (1815-1890) was honored on Saturday, May 13, with the installation of a Republic of Texas Navy Memorial Medallion on his headstone in Belton, Texas. Malcom Johnson, a descendant of Wybrants, came with his daughter and grandson, who live in Fredericksburg. He has been a great help in researching the history of his ancestor. Malcom himself was made a Texas Navy Admiral in 1995 by Governor Bush.
Belton Mayor Marion Grayson spoke about the town of Belton as it was in 1866 when Samuel Wybrants moved his family there. She explained that Wybrants was one of the primary supporters of Baylor University for Women being built in Belton, an institution now known as Mary Hardin Baylor. He was one of the top donors in support of that effort. He started a neighborhood near the university that is still referred to as the Wybrants subdivision, although most of the area has actually become part of Mary Hardin Baylor.
TNA President Adm. Jerry Patterson and Memorial Medallion Committee Chairman Adm. Karen Thompson place Wybrants’ medallion.
Saturday’s ceremony marks the fifth tombstone designated to date; according to Thompson, “we’ve only got about a thousand more to go!” So if you know of a Texian Navy veteran who should be so honored, or would like to assist in research efforts, contact Adm. Thompson at gravelady-at-sbcglobal-dot-net.